As discussed in this article, the Chibok girls’ abduction has become a symbol of fundamentalist Islam’s fear of educating women. This fear stems from the fact that educated women are harder to control– and in a religion like Islam, where it’s success is based upon how much oppressive control it has on it’s people– the idea of women being less dependent upon the controlling men in their lives is hugely threatening.
Islam has been talked about before as a religion of peace and love, which I’ve refuted in an earlier blogpost. It is also considered a close relative of Christianity due to the half-brother relationship Ishmael and Isaac share in Genesis 16, but this is simply not true. While Islam is close to Judaism, both religions believe that Jesus was not God, nor that He died and rose again for the sins of the world. Rather, Islam believes that Christ was merely a prophet or “apostle,” as stated in Surat An-Nisa’:
“The Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, was but a messenger of Allah and His word which He directed to Mary and a soul [created at a command] from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers. And do not say, “Three”; desist – it is better for you. Indeed, Allah is but one God. Exalted is He above having a son. To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth.”
(Surat An-Nisa’ 4:171, Sahih International)
Because they proclaim that Jesus wasn’t God, they proclaim that works alone, not faith in Christ, brings salvation, as stated in Al-Baqarah 2:62. This passage in the Qur’an describes a works-based faith in that no matter what religion a person is, as long as they “work righteousness,” they will “have their reward with the Lord.” Any religion that dares to stifle the deity of Jesus Christ while also claiming that salvation is by works alone is nowhere near Christianity. The religion of Islam aims to oppress, confuse and deceive the men and women who follow it’s traditions by means of revering an angry, far-off god that demands righteousness not based in Jesus Christ.
In stark contrast, the bible foretells of the Jesus’ work on the cross in the old testament, especially in the book of Isaiah:
“Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
…After he has suffered,
he will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and he will bear their iniquities.
Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
and he will divide the spoils with the strong,
because he poured out his life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.“
(Isaiah 53:4-6, 11-12, NIV)
The New Testament also proclaims this faith-in-Christ based salvation:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
(Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV)
This passage in scripture speaks of faith in Christ alone, with good works being the fruit of such faith. Good works are only the testimony of our faith in Christ; true faith will create a true change in a person’s life, but is by no means reliant upon that change. Rather than trying to “be holy” on our own, we have been given the Holy Spirit, which enables us to live as witnesses of the Gospel:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
(Acts 1:8, NIV)
The Holy Spirit does a countless number of things in and through us, some of which are shared here. This Holy-Spirit-empowered life speaks of freely loving God with all of our beings, as well as loving each other in humble acts of service:
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.”
This life of love, power, and freedom can only be had through the blood of Christ, yet many will never experience it. The men oppressing and degrading their female counterparts in the muslim faith do not understand that they are being deceived and oppressed by satan. As long as Islam keeps control over these people, especially these women, satan wins. The men and women of this faith need Christ’s love and forgiveness just as much as we do, as affirmed by Romans 3:23; yet, without anyone sharing the Gospel with them, they remained veiled by the false religion of Islam (2 Corinthians 3:15). Their eyes need to be opened; their hearts need to be freed by the redemptive blood of Christ. In the power of the Holy Spirit, we pray.
Please pray with me that the men & women of the Muslim faith would hear the gospel in a way that they both understand and appeal to.
Pray that men and women all over the world, filled and empowered by the God’s Holy Spirit, would reach out to Muslims, sharing with them Christ’s love and forgiveness– as well as offering them safety from their sometimes traumatizing, horrific home lives.
Pray that these men and women would see the truth, and that their hearts would be receptive to it; pray also that they’d be discipled in this truth, so that they may continually see more and more clearly.
Pray that they’d fall in love with Christ more and more each day; pray they’d be filled with the Spirit, growing in the knowledge of Christ, willing to share it with their friends and family, no matter the cost.
Do you want to know Christ as your Lord and Savior, but you’ve never asked Him into your life? Do you want to have His Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you, equipping you in love with power to live a set-apart life unto Him? Pray this prayer with me:
Dear Jesus, I believe that you are God-in-Man, and that you came to die for the sins of the whole world. I thank you for coming to earth, dying on the cross, and coming back from the dead on the third day. I have sinned against you, and deserve hell, but I pray you’d save me from my sins. I repent of them, and I pray you’d please come into my heart and show me how to live for you. I thank you for that, Lord Jesus! Amen.
If you prayed that prayer with me, then I am glad to welcome you into the family of Christ! Please be praying for those around you who do not know Christ either. These men and women need to be freed of this satanic religion. May the Holy Spirit make them to see.